While rates of injury vary across different population groups, overall, injuries are more common in men than in women. This higher rate of injury can be explained at least in part by the fact that men are more likely to engage in risk taking behaviours and activities (Ashton et al. 2014). These behaviours can adversely affect health and potentially increase the likelihood of injury. Examples include higher rates of:

  • tobacco, alcohol and drug use (AIHW 2024)
  • unsafe vehicle driving  (AIHW 2023c) 
  • violence and self-harm (AIHW 2023a, AIHW 2023b)

Additionally, men have higher participation rates in activities that expose them to increased injury risks, including:

  • occupations and workplace activity involving physical labour or the operation of heavy machinery, and
  • sports, especially high impact sports (ABS 2014)

In 2021–22, men accounted for:

671,000 Emergency Department (ED) presentations (56% of all adults)

239,000 injury hospitalisations (54% of all adults)

8,700 deaths (61% of all adults).

Report scope

This report describes injuries in males aged 19 years and over, referred to as men throughout this report. For injuries among males aged under 19 years, please refer to the recent AIHW report on Injuries in children and adolescents.

For 2021–22, this report describes emergency department (ED) presentations, hospitalisations and deaths among men across Australia. It outlines external causes of injuries, describing three selected causes in more detail. It also includes available data pertaining to type of injury and body part involved, activity during injury, and place of occurrence of the injury.

Ten-year trends for injury hospitalisations and injury-related deaths in adult men are also examined, between July 2012 and June 2022. 

This analysis is limited to cases where age was recorded as 19 and over, and sex specified as male, in each year of data analysed. Records with missing and/or unspecified age or sex are therefore excluded. We note that the ‘sex’ variable currently available for national hospitals reporting only comprises of 4 categories – male, female, intersex or indeterminate, and not stated/inadequately described – and is referring to the biological sex only. Work is underway to include more comprehensive coverage of sex and/or gender within future reporting. For this report, only records with sex specified as male have been included. 

Details about injury scope inclusions for hospitalisations, ED presentations and mortality records can be found in the Technical notes accompanying this report.